A fundamental part of the Coach canon is that there’s an activity out there for everyone. Even if you thought PE ruined physical exertion for you for life, there’s something that will transform your life for the better. And perhaps that thing is… yoga on a paddleboard? Or hugby? (That’s rugby with hugs.) These are both things we didn’t know existed until the Movers List was released. It’s a 50-strong roll call – compiled by Lucozade Sport and judged by the likes of boxer Anthony Joshua and England footballer Nikita Parris – of people who are making a difference to people’s lives by getting them moving in new and unexpected ways.
It’s an easy way to find something new and get inspired, so scroll through to see if someone’s doing something that appeals in your area. And even if there’s not, you can visit the Movers List on the Lucozade Sport website to find opportunities to move, including fitness classes and the like, near you.
It’s the first major service we’ve seen that makes use of the OpenActive initiative, which asks sports and fitness booking platforms to share their event data, making it easier for people to find opportunities to get active in their area. As long as a website pulls together that information, of course – so hats off to Lucozade Sport for putting this new service together.
And a standing O to everyone on the list, which we’ve reproduced in full and in alphabetical order below – we’ll sure you’ll agree there’s some real sterling work going on. Give it a peruse, find something that or someone who inspires you, and get moving.
1. Al Hopkins, Edinburgh
Hopkins thought traditional sports environments could be intimidating for the LGBTI+ community so joined the Edinburgh Frontrunners, which is part of a global community encouraging LGBTI+ people to move, make friends and belong.
2. Alex Gibson, Brentwood
After Gibson was diagnosed with motor neurone disease he started Challenging MND, a charity dedicated to providing support to those living with MND to complete memorable activities.
3. Asa Waite, Newport
Waite set up a basketball team, the Newport Aces, to encourage local children to get moving. He now runs seven teams and has hundreds of kids taking part in a sport that inspires confidence.
4. Bella Mackie, London
The author of Jog On, a memoir about how running helped to ease her anxiety which became an instant best-seller in 2018. It has inspired thousands of people to take to the road and run to better their mental health.
5. Benjamin Wimbush, Manchester
Wimbush broke his neck in a trampolining accident eight years ago, leaving him with life-changing injuries. He started the #20isplenty movement to help disabled people, able-bodied people and those with mental health issues to connect with and motivate each other.
6. Born Barikor, London
After working at a leisure centre and realising that he could not afford to join it himself, Barikor created OurParks to change the way people exercise Hundreds of thousands of people now enjoy free group exercise classes run by fitness experts in community spaces.
7. Carl Adams, Ashford
Along with partner Steve Denby, Adams co-founded Primal Roots, a social enterprise that runs forest fitness classes helping people in recovery and those who have experienced homelessness rebuild their lives through movement and kinship.
8. Dr Catherine Walter, Oxford
An Emeritus Fellow in applied linguistics by day and captain of Oxford University’s Linacre College female powerlifting club by night, 72-year-old Walter wants to encourage other women to lift weights and believes it is never too late to find a sport that you love.
9. Charlie Dark, London
Dark founded Run Dem Crew, a community for like-minded people to meet, exchange ideas, and run. The Crew is now 500 members strong and regularly “runs” London and other cities across the world.
10. Charlotte Roach, Chester
After a near-fatal cycling accident put an end to her promising athletic career, Roach launched Rabble, a business that stages classic playground games as high-intensity exercise and has over 900 regular members across several UK cities.
11. Charmaine Daley, Nottingham
When she was made redundant for the third time, Daley attended a Zumba class and decided she wanted to do it for a living. She trained as an instructor and started organising Zumba networking events in her community. Full of positivity, Daley was chosen to inspire others through the national This Girl Can initiative.
12. Dan Charlish, Hove
Charlish started Snow-Camp to teach disadvantaged young people how to ski and snowboard after hearing a group of teenagers say that Xbox snowsports games were the closest they would get to winter sports. It is the UK’s only charity inspiring inner-city young people to excel through snowsports.
13. Dan Edwardes, London
In 2005 Edwardes founded Parkour Generations, which is now the leading authority on parkour education. It’s a multi-national organisation that runs coaching certifications, school programmes, workshops and major events in more than 45 countries around the world.
14. Dave Musgrove, Leeds
Musgrove was involved in several access and conservation projects across all the Limestone crags in Yorkshire, ensuring there are safe places for people to share his passion and start climbing.
15. Dave Player, Newbury
A former serviceman with the Royal Engineers, Player suffered a spinal cord injury and started Kartforce and Team BRIT with the aim of inspiring disabled and struggling veterans to overcome their troubles by being part of a team again.
16. Dee Ripoll, Edinburgh
Ripoll set up Coldwater Surf and has taught across France and her native Scotland. After two traumatic accidents she moved to Edinburgh and re-established the school to teach people of all ages how to master the waves. She continues to surf all over the world.
17. Edwina Brocklesby, London
Brocklesby founded SilverFit in 2013 to promote lifelong fitness. The organisation runs activities in venues across London, offering exercise opportunities to OAPs from Nordic walking to tai chi.
18. Francesca Lewis, Swansea
Lewis started playing tennis aged eight and went on to play at an elite level, but has since dedicated herself to coaching disadvantaged people in Swansea, covering an age range from three to 98.
19. Gundeep Anand, London
Anand is the mind behind The Last Stand, a street football tournament created to unite communities and break down social, cultural and religious barriers through sport. It has inspired similar events to start all over the world.
20. Hannah Hawkey, Plymouth
Hawkey quit her teaching job to set up RockFit, a fitness class set to a heavy metal and rock soundtrack, a concept that has spread with classes in Bristol and Glasgow as well as Plymouth.
21. Helen Mackenzie, Ripon
Mackenzie started Ripon City Netball Club when she was recovering from breast cancer and wanted something to enjoy with her two daughters. She wants to inspire women of all ages to take up a competitive team sport and enjoy the health and social benefits it can bring.
22. Ivo Gormley, London
Fetching a newspaper for an elderly neighbour sparked an idea for Gormley, who decided to combine running with good deeds. The resulting project is called GoodGym, and it’s a community of runners who are helping combat loneliness and isolation by running (literally) errands for those who need it and by doing manual labour for community projects.
23. Jen Blackwell, Preston
Blackwell founded DanceSyndrome, a group for similar people to come together and experience happiness through dance.
24. Jess Melia, Leeds
Melia created Rollin’ With The Girls, a skating group inspiring women to hit the ramps and give skateboarding a go. Using social media to arrange meet-ups, post video clips and grow awareness, Rollin’ With The Girls now has over 1,000 members.
25. John Croot, Chesterfield
As chief executive of Chesterfield FC’s Community Trust, Croot pioneered modern Walking Football to engage the over-50s in the area. It is now played in over 50 countries around the world, and there are over 60,000 players in the UK alone.
26. Josh Landmann, Poulton-Le-Fylde
Landmann was paralysed from the chest down after an accident and has been determined to keep moving ever since. His involvement in a ToughMudder went viral and inspired people around the world. In April 2019, he broke the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon completed in a non-racing wheelchair.
27. Kate Rew, Somerset
Author Rew’s love of swimming outdoors stems from childhood. In 2006 she discovered swimming in rivers, lakes and seas was dwindling and founded the Outdoor Swimming Society, with a mission to inspire other people to swim outdoors and give them the information to do it safely. Starting with just a handful of swimmers, the society has helped created a nationwide movement and has grown to over 70,000 members.
28. Katee Hui, London
When keen footballer Hui moved from Canada to London she could not find enough opportunities for women to play football. So she started her own and founded the Hackney Laces, which now runs as a social franchise in three London boroughs, and as an off-the-pitch programme designed to inspire and support participants beyond football.
29. Keith Whitton, Doncaster
Whitton goes the extra mile inspiring newcomers to try the sport he has loved for over 50 years, Rink Hockey. He saved his local club, Sheffield Wildcats, from disbanding in 2015 and it has since gone from strength to strength with multiple teams competing on a weekly basis.
30. Khadijah Safari, Milton Keynes
Safari started the first women-only martial arts club, Safari Kickboxing, as a safe space for Muslim and non-Muslim women to come together, train in self-defence and keep fit.
31. Lauren Gregory, Farnborough
Gregory founded Run Like A Girl after gaining confidence from a charity ultramarathon that she took part in. What started as a social media post to local mums became a running club with over 30,000 members throughout Warwickshire.
32. Leanne Davies, Leatherhead
Davies set up a small Facebook group after struggling to keep to structured running times after having a second baby. It began as three women, and six years later Run Mummy Run has reached over 62,000 members.
33. Leanne Pero, London
In 2001, at the age of just 15, Pero set up The Movement Factory to create lasting community impact through her love of dance, which has inspired over 500,000 young people to move.
34. Linda Hesselden, Plymouth
Hesselden is a licensee of Silver Swans, a Royal Academy of Dance initiative that enables students aged 55 and over to learn ballet. She has been active in the community for over 20 years and taught everyone from pre-school children to men and women in their 80s.
35. Louisa Chatwin, Selston
Over the last decade, Chatwin has taught hundreds of adults and children how to improve their skills on the ice. In the 2017 World Winter Games, she was selected as Team GB head coach for the Special Olympics following her work with para-skate star Meg McFarlane.
36. Mac Ferrari, London
The founder of Bikestormz and the unofficial godfather to the UK #BikeLifeMovement, former gang member Ferrari has encouraged thousands to take part in mass rides and promotes the message of “Bikes Up, Knives Down”.
37. Melanie Timberlake, Aylesbury
Timberlake overcame post-natal depression and brain surgery to inspire others through a shared love of sport. She is the manager of three disability football teams and runs martial arts classes for the disabled, earning the prestigious Disability Coach of the Year award.
38. Michaella Robb, Angus
Robb was one of the first paddleboard yoga instructors in the UK. After discovering the sport while travelling, she brought the concept home to Scotland to inspire others and motivate them to enjoy the sport in the great outdoors.
39. Oliur Rahman, London
Rahman started the Active Communities Network to engage young people living in areas of high deprivation to develop an interest and build careers in sport and exercise. The programme supports members in a range of weekly sessions from boxing to basketball.
40. Paul Sinton-Hewitt, London
In 2004 Sinton-Hewitt started parkrun, the free 5K run, with 13 people in Bushy Park, west London. It now has five million registered runners worldwide with over 280,000 people regularly running each week in 1,500 global events.
41. Phil and Shaun Webb, Glasgow
The brothers founded Glasgow Ultimate Frisbee Club and are credited with helping establish and expand the sport throughout Scotland in universities, parks and communities.
42. Philip Collins, London
Collins is chair of Out To Swim, an aquatics club for LGBTI+ adults in London, Brighton and Bristol. Founded 25 years ago by a small band of swimmers, it is now the biggest LGBTI+ swimming club in Europe.
43. Sarah Javaid, London
Javaid set up Cycle Sisters to help Muslim women connect and exercise through cycling. It started with a friend and her two sisters-in-law and has since grown to over 50 members.
44. Shannia Richardson-Gordon, London
Richardson-Gordon became a coach with Boxing Futures and the Limehouse Boxing Academy aged just 19. Passionate about how the sport can help others, she travels all over London to teach mental health patients, people with disabilities and young offenders.
45. Simon Northcott, Worcester
Worcester Warriors rugby coach Northcott developed a passion for creating more inclusive forms of sport and invented “Hugby”, in which scrums, line-outs and tackling are done by hugging the opponent.
46. Skye Stewart, Wolverhampton
Stewart is the founder of Black Country Fusion FC, the first LGBTI+ inclusive team to enter a non-gay league in the West Midlands. The open-minded club has gone on to establish a female team and a veteran’s team for men over 35.
47. Sophia Warner, Ockley
Born with cerebral palsy, WArner became a Paralympic track and field athlete. She founded the Superhero Series in 2016 to allow disabled people to take part in sport alongside their friends and families.
48. Tanayah Sam, Birmingham
Sam is an ex-convict working with young people in schools and prisons who are at risk of joining gang culture. His 12-week programme uses cricket to encourage social cohesion and steer young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour.
49. Wendy Rumble, Maidenhead
Rumble leads a buggy running movement with an educational website, online community and a running club, Buggy Squad, to inspire parents and families to find freedom in exercise.
50. Wendy Russell, Brighton & Hove
Russell set up the first deaf hockey session in the country at Brighton & Hove Hockey Club, and developed 40 new sign language signs for hearing-impaired players of all ages.